“I think this has been a real learning experience for the younger members of the cast,” said director Davis, “especially those who hadn’t realized how different life was for youngsters over a century and a half ago. Those things with which so many children fill their lives these days like movies and cable TV and game pads didn’t exist. If they played a game back then, like the game about Robin Hood which they play soon after the opening number called ‘Hey, Tom Sawyer!’ in the first act, it’s because they’ve invented or embellished it themselves.
Details of the law approved Thursday by China’s rubber stamp National People’s Congress have yet to be revealed.Hong Kongers are now frantically making plans for a new reality scrubbing their social media feeds of offending posts, downloading VPN software to hide online activity and researching what it takes to move abroad.Wong He, a comedian, TV star and former policeman who has increasingly run afoul of the city’s government for his support of the protests, received a call from his attorney the day after the law was introduced advising him to do two things: consider emigrating and deleting his social media accounts so that his followers could not be found to have liked, shared or commented on his anti government posts. He admitted that was likely futile; things don’t just disappear from the internet, but he did it anyway.”I’d feel guilty if anyone got in trouble because of me,” said the 52 year old actor, who posted a video explaining how to delete a Facebook account.Wong He, like many Hong Kongers, knew there would come a day when the firewall between Hong Kong and the mainland would likely topple just not so soon.China was supposed to preserve Hong Kong’s way of life for 50 years after a “one country, two systems” arrangement with Britain took effect in 1997.Critics say the new national security law, expected to be implemented later this summer, effectively marks an early end to that experiment a denouement brought on by Beijing’s desire for more control and the fierce resistance it inspired in a series of mass protests in recent years.None were more violent and widespread than those seen during the past year, which were sparked by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s failed bid to introduce an extradition law with China that would have exposed Hong Kongers to the arbitrary laws of the mainland, much like the national security law.Hong Kong is consumed today by the same anxieties that marked the lead up to 1997 only this time with the fresh wounds of last year’s protests. And China, further ratcheted up Friday by President Trump’s announcement that he would strip the territory of its special trade privileges.The very thing that has made Hong Kong so vital for more than a century its role as a bridge between China and the West is now its greatest vulnerability in the eyes of Beijing, which views dissent in the international outpost as a threat to its sovereignty.”Hong Kong is the new Berlin in a new Cold War,” said a 20 year old protester, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared he could be arrested for his role in demonstrations.The student studying law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong helps run a Facebook group, with anonymous membership, created last year as a means to oppose the extradition bill that sparked the city’s protests.